One of the first signs of spring is the emergence of dandelions. Unfortunately, this large flowering plant in the Asteraceae family has become a nuisance for millions of homeowners. Once it takes hold in your landscape, it can quickly reproduce and spread.
When this occurs, the newly grown dandelions will consume valuable moisture and nutrients that could otherwise be consumed by your grass and plants. So, what’s the best way to prevent and control dandelions?
Remove Dandelions By Root
As with most weeds and invasive plants, the best way to remove dandelions is to extract them from the soil, ensuring that most or all of the taproot is removed during the process. Running over them with the lawnmower or cutting them at the base doesn’t work.
If the taproot is left intact – even with just an inch or two left – it will continue to grow. Therefore, you should remove all unwanted dandelions from your landscape by pulling them up from the root.
You can also spot treat dandelions using a store-bought or homemade herbicide. A simple solution of vinegar and liquid dish soap creates the perfect dandelion-killing solution. When sprayed on a dandelion, the soap makes the vinegar stick to the plant, at which point it alters the dandelion’s pH, making it highly acidic and unable to grow.
The problem with spot treating, however, is that it may also affect the health and growth of nearby plants and grass.
There are a few steps you can take to manage dandelions in your landscape, one of which is to remove them as soon as possible. When left unchecked, they’ll quickly spread and take over you landscape. By removing dandelion as soon as you see them, you’ll maintain greater control over your landscape.
You can also discourage dandelions from growing in your landscape by filling in bare patches of missing grass. If there’s an area of your lawn with missing grass, dandelions may take advantage of this voided space.
A quick and easy solution is to reseed the bare patch. As new grass begins to fill the space, it will restrict weeds and unwanted plants, including dandelions, from growing.
Finally, consider adding mulch to flowerbeds or other areas where dandelions are a problem. Mulch helps to block out the sunlight, preventing dandelions from growing. Of course, you can’t apply mulch over your lawn, but you can still use it in flowerbeds and similar spaces.
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